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Viewing Single Post From: Mikhail Shishkin
alliknowis
Literary lunatic
[ *  *  * ]
From what I've read he seems to be generally acknowledged critically as the greatest Russian novelist of the past decade or two.

Reads the following short story and two novel excerpts translated into English and tell me there's not something magical about his writing...

1993 short story "Calligraphy Lesson"
http://wordswithoutborders.org/article/calligraphy-lesson

excerpt from 2005 novel "Maiden-Hair"
http://worldliteraturetoday.com/we-cant-go-living-way-mikhail-shishkin

excerpt from 2010 novel "Letter Book"
http://booksfromrussia.org/translation/letter-book

From wiki:

Mikhail Pavlovich Shishkin (Russian: Михаил Павлович Шишкин, born 18 January 1961) is a Russian writer. He is widely considered as one of the best contemporary Russian writers and praised for depth and complexity of his books and for his perfect command of Russian literary language.[1][2][3][4][5]

Biography

Mikhail Shishkin was born in 1961 in Moscow.
Shishkin studied English and German at Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. After graduation he worked as a street sweeper, road worker, journalist, school teacher, and translator. He debuted as a writer in 1993, when his short story "Calligraphy Lesson" was published in Znamya magazine. Since 1995 he has lived in Zurich, Switzerland.[6][7] He averages one book every five years.[8]
Shishkin's books have been translated into more than ten languages.[9] His prose is universally praised for style, e.g., "Shishkin's language is wonderfully lucid and concise. Without sounding archaic, it reaches over the heads of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (whose relationship with the Russian language was often uneasy) to the tradition of Pushkin." He deals with universal themes like death, resurrection, and love.[10] Shishkin has been compared to numerous great writers, including Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov and James Joyce,[11] while he admits to being influenced by Chekhov along with Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Bunin, saying "Bunin taught me not to compromise, and to go on believing in myself. Chekhov passed on his sense of humanity – that there can’t be any wholly negative characters in your text. And from Tolstoy I learned not to be afraid of being naïve."[11]

Bibliography

Fiction

"Calligraphy Lesson", short story (1993)
One Night Befalls Us All / Всех ожидает одна ночь, novel (1993)
Blind Musician / Слепой музыкант, novella (1994)
The Taking of Izmail / Взятие Измаила, novel (1999) - Russian Booker Prize (2000)
Saved language, short story (2001)
Maiden Hair / Венерин Волос, novel (2005) - Big Book Award (2006), National Best-Seller Prize (2006)
Pismovnik ("Letter Book") / Письмовник, novel (2010) - Big Book Award (2011)

Non-Fiction

Russian Switzerland / Русская Швейцария literary and historical guidebook (2000)
Montreux-Missolunghi-Astapovo, in the Steps of Byron and Tolstoy / Montreux-Missolunghi-Astapowo, Auf den Spuren von Byron und Tolstoj (2002), an essay collection, in German (2002) - Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger - 2005
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